City made two changes after last week's 3-0 defeat at Cheltenham. Pat Baldwin came in to form a back three alongside Coles and Amankwaah and Alan Gow started in partnership with Jamie Cureton up front. Arron Davies missed out through injury and Jimmy Keohane dropped to the bench. The new 3-5-1-1 formation allowed Scot Bennett to return to midfield.
The home side started with intent and David Healy’s early cross went all the way across the Exeter box. Dominic Poleon had plenty of time at the far post but shot first time and hit the bar.
City’s reply inevitably came from Alan Gow with two free kicks, one hitting the wall, the other saved by Trevor Carson.
A repeat of the side's weakness to defend set pieces saw Bury open the scoring after 35 minutes. A short corner was played to the back post where Sodje headed the ball back into the opposite corner past Krysiak. Then just before half time, a cleared corner fell to Schumacher who fired narrowly over.
Having struggled in the first half, City made a change at the break when John O’Flynn came for Steve Tully. However the fluency was still missing and Artur Krysiak had to make a smart stop to deny Poleon when Matt Oakley had lost the ball all too easily in midfield. However, an improvement followed when Woodman threaded a long ball to O’Flynn but he fired well over. Then an Amankwaah cross saw Gow test Carson, who spilled the ball and gratefully saw it hacked off the line.
More encouragement came for City when Sodje received his second yellow card for a foul on Gow. The Scottish striker was attracting his usual measure of attention (Lockwood also being booked for fouling him) but Sodje could have no complaint. Gow caused problems all day to the Bury defence. but the Grecians needed more than just him to perform to get a result. He was the instigator once again of a chance for Cureton who couldn't properly get a shot in before himself shooting at Carson from a narrow angle and putting a shot narrowly wide after a mazy run.
City started to commit men forward, inevitably inviting counterattacks from Bury. Krysiak saved well from Poleon and Troy Hewitt volleyed spectacular against the crossbar.
The Grecians did manage one last chance in stoppage time as Cureton found himself in on goal, but he overran the ball allowing Carson to come out and save.
So a third FA Cup with Budweiser defeat at Bury in five years and still no meaningful FA Cup run since the Manchester United glory in season 2004-05. There is an immediate chance to forget Cup woes with league action this Tuesday when AFC Wimbledon visit St James Park for a 7.45pm kick off.
Bury (4-4-2): Carson; Doherty, Lockwood, Sodje, Skarz; Worrall, Schumacher, Sweeney, Poleon; Hewitt, Healy (Hughes 62). Substitutes (not used): Byrne, C Jones, Elford-Alliyu, A Jones, Belford.
Goal: Sodje 35
Bookings: Sodje (2), Lockwood, Skarz
Sent off: Sodje
Exeter City (3-5-1-1): Krysiak; Amankwaah (Dawson 86), Baldwin, Coles; Tully (O’Flynn h-t), Sercombe, Bennett, Oakley, Woodman; Gow; Cureton. Substitutes (not used): Evans (gk), Moore-Taylor, Doherty, Keohane, Nichols.
Referee: T Harrington